Councils handed £2bn extra for housebuilding
The New Homes Bonus, paid to councils in England by central government for delivering new homes, was launched in 2011 and has helped fund 550,000 newly-built homes and conversions.
However, just 160,000 of these properties are classed as affordable and building in all areas of the country is behind the figure needed to meet demand.
A further 93,000 formerly empty homes have been or will be brought back into use using the scheme which gives councils a bonus equivalent to six years’ council tax.
Housing minister Kris Hopkins has announced the allocation for this year which will see £900m shared among the 353 councils in England.
“The New Homes Bonus lets local people share in the benefits of development, with councils free to spend the money to benefit their local area.
“Getting Britain building in this way is critical to our long-term economic plan, not only building the homes communities need, but creating thousands of new jobs and apprenticeships across the country.
“We will continue to pay the bonus in the future to ensure that places that have built houses are properly rewarded for doing so.”
Communities minister Stephen Williams added:
“I want councils to go even further, and use the range of powers we’ve put in their hands to end the blight of empty properties in our neighbourhoods and bring them back into productive use for the families who need the stability and security new home can provide.”